I’ve been trying to write a blog post since I first published my website a year and a half ago. Trying…a word whose definition is arbitrary. It can mean either good intentions or a whole-hearted effort with roadblocks. I’m going to claim both. I mean, I have survived 2020 and 2021 after all, so trying excuses every failed effort for the past two years, yes?
All kidding aside, I haven’t wanted to start blogging with just any post. I don’t want to blog for the sake of content and traffic to my website. I want to blog with substance, and so far, nothing that I’ve set out to put in ink has felt like substance. Until January 1st, 2022.
Happy New Year, by the way! If you’re like me (and I know that you are) you are looking for some hope and change for the coming year. Ahem, and I don’t mean that kind of hope and change, but I digress. What I mean is, the bottom has dropped out for most, if not all of us these past couple of years in many ways. And just to be transparent, while 2020 was ironically magical for my family, 2021 has been a grueling journey into letting go of myself. And doubly ironic, that is the central theme to The Clock Upon the Wall which I was able to publish in the midst of 2020 madness.
So with my hands wide open, my heart content, and my eyes above rather than on earth, I look toward the coming year and what I feel in my spirit will be a very transformational time for all of us.
Team Adams spent a low-key New Years Eve at our house with our closest friends. We saw the new year in with 3 kiddos in tact and relatively rested all the way until midnight. New Years day was a late morning and a lunch feast of black-eyed peas, cabbage, ham, and game playing. So far, the premier day of 2022 looked to be as normal as any other, except that the temperature was about to drop 60 degrees in typical Texas fashion. So, to round off our festivities, we swung by the house to rescue our patio green babies (plants for anyone that is confused) and headed over to our friends’ home for some more fun.
It would have been a fairly early night for us except when we got home we discovered, not one, but two stowaways enjoying the warmth from the sudden freeze. And I’m not talking about the two adorable Australian shepherd mixes by the names of Rocky and Rose. I’m talking about two otherwise adorable little Texas wrens flitting from Christmas tree to ceiling fan to Christmas tree. On a side note, maybe it’s time to talk about consolidating how many trees one should put up in a single home for yule tide merriment. For certainly ’twas the season for these two little larks.
Now, admittedly, I tend to be one who is quick to attach some spiritual significance to a hardship or something out of the ordinary…to a fault. Sometimes, life just happens, so I don’t think there is any sense driving yourself crazy looking for the deep meaning. But we had just had two plumbing issues within the Christmas break after an entire year of an uphill battle with insurance after the Texas Freeze of 2021. Two birds causing me to get my January’s worth of steps and stair climbing in a single evening, repainting my floors an unflattering coat of white, and flinging their feathers like New Years confetti seemed pretty spiritual to me.
My wife Megan and I took the little rascals in stride, chasing them from one corner of the house to the other, top to bottom, waving towels like French flags during the revolution, poking the Christmas tree(s) with a broom stick, knocking over (and shattering) vases. We laughed more than we cursed, surprisingly. In fact, we didn’t curse at all, not even under our breath. The situation was too farcical. I really only worried about the sleep I was quickly losing as we neared one o’clock in the morning before we tired out one of the wrens enough to capture with a towel and toss into the freezing cold. The other, I’m convinced, spent the night in the front room Christmas tree.
So commenced day two. It was more of the same: up the stairs, down the stairs, light fixture to Christmas tree, feather here, don’t step there…you get the idea. I picked up the spiritual significance once again as I prayed (rather than cursed, thank you very much) under my breath, reminding God that He gave me dominion over my own home so would He kindly remind the bird. It was then that He spoke to me the spiritual significance of what was happening so gently, yet so profoundly that it felt like a brick in my head. The front door was wide open for the bird to leave, as my shivering would suggest. Yet the bird would continue to flap right past it from the dining room curtains to the upstairs Christmas tree. Yes, a third tree, don’t judge.
The Lord spoke to me so suddenly as I approached this pooping bird with my upraised towel. The bird is so scared, he can’t even see the open door. He keeps flapping his wings right past it. If he would just calm down, stop flapping, come down from his heights for just a moment, he would notice his opportunity. This stopped me in my tracks. In fact, I had to pause, and the bird and I stared at each other for a long moment. His companion, we had to smother and man-handle out the door.
Here was my spiritual meaning.
To be transparent, 2021 was a whirlwind of seeing some definitive expectations crumble to the ground. I won’t bore you with specifics, but when God has to pry things from your fingers as He had to do for me over the course of the year in many areas, it can be painful! And it didn’t have to be! Hope can exist apart from expectations. I firmly believe that when our hope begins to develop expectations, it is verging upon idolatry, and I don’t think that is too extreme of a view. God very rarely wills within our expectations; in fact, I believe God gets His greatest glory when He operates opposite of what we’ve come to expect–or even worse, what we’ve come to accept.
A while back when I was praying for some change and some opportunity, I got a word from the Lord about a potential door. His word was simple: “you’ll know the door when you see it.” Ever since then, and it’s been more than five years, I feel like I’ve hit the ground running looking all over for that door. Would it be a job opportunity? A financial breakthrough? My own business? Would my book suddenly sell a million copies (without proper marketing, might I add)? I was flapping my wings so hard and flitting from place to place that I feel like I would have never seen that door. To add to it, as the years have gone by, I think I little bit of fear has mixed itself into my searching. I’m getting older. I’m still in debt. My kids are getting older. Time is getting away from me. You know the stuff.
Now I’ve come to a bit of a stagnant place in my life that the open door itself can bring me a bit of anxiety. What then? Well, I feel like the answer was in the little lesson I learned over the New Year holiday. I can flap my wings so anxiously in fear that I may literally not see the door, and if so, God very well could have to trap me and physically throw me through it. Either way, God accomplishes His will through me, but you know what? I’d rather that will be accomplished in the way that pleases Him the most. I’ll know that door when I see it, and if it brings me fear, I must braid up my faith like a cord and in epic fashion swing through the door on the strands of that faith.
This was the substance I had been looking for to write my first blog. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there is no shortage of words that many have received individually or collectively that 2022 will bring about much transition to the lives of many, and most specifically to the church. Friends, I fully believe we are in for some amazing times. Mind you, I didn’t say easy, but as I like to say, “Aslan is on the move.” God is doing something and we are going to be amazed. There will be doors upon doors of opportunity, and if I learned anything, maybe we should stop flapping our wings in fear, drift down from our lofty heights, and just maybe…we’ll see the door.
Happy New Year, everyone!